Without the presence of slavery, white Georgians maintained control through an intricate combination of social mores, economic dominance, and political disenfranchisement, all undergirded by the ever-present threat of violence.
The second section of Schultz's book deals with the nature of racial violence in the county. This part challenges assumed wisdom that "the cotton belt led Georgia in the percentage of lynchings" p. Schultz demonstrates that, although a cotton belt county, Hancock actually experienced only two lynchings. Rather, violence tended to be both highly personal and highly private. Schultz argues convincingly that the nature of the violence reflected the intensely personal system of white dominance, based as it was on networks of labor, kin, and patronage.
The third section of the book also represents a considerable deviation from accepted knowledge. Here, Schultz argues, that the black population of Hancock County was never completely denied the vote, even at the height of Jim Crow.
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Rather, he presents a picture whereby personal networks delineated black voting. Some blacks paid Georgia's poll tax or had it paid for them making them eligible to vote.
Most of these men, however, followed the lead of their white patrons in determining their vote. Thus, as Schultz concludes, these voters were "less the precursors of the civil rights movement than they were the embodiment of patronage ties between the white elite and the 'respectable' black men whom they trusted" p. Despite this essentially patronage-based system of politics, Schultz points out that the black vote was not completely meaningless.
Although often voting for avowed racists, some black communities in the county successfully lobbied their bloc vote to improve their physical situation somewhat--for example, receiving more money for black schools. This was especially true as the black vote started to increase after World War II. Throughout this detailed portrait of the mechanisms of white control in rural Georgia, Schultz offers his reader many excellent stories. Bryan Bridges rated it liked it Feb 10, James rated it really liked it Dec 31, Michael Taylor rated it liked it Sep 20, Anchower rated it it was amazing Oct 08, Kaitlin Ward rated it did not like it Apr 09, Karlyn rated it really liked it Sep 30, Sep 23, Josh rated it it was amazing.
The Rural Face of White Supremacy: BEYOND JIM CROW
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